The Blue Jays will get their first look at rookie whiz Yordano Ventura a day earlier than expected.
Ventura, originally scheduled to start Thursday night's game, was moved into the Wednesday night slot in Bruce Chen's place. Chen was scratched because of an aching back and the Royals' desire to put their front four starters back on a regular four days of rest.
For Ventura, it doesn't matter very much. He was skipped over in the first go-round of the rotation because of a rainout and made his second start after six days' rest.
"Whether I pitch with four days' rest or five or six, I just throw the ball and see what happens," he said.
What usually happens is that hitters are gaping at 100-mph fastballs, lunging after sharp curveballs or trying to adjust to mesmerizing changeups.
Ventura has won two of his four starts, racking up 27 strikeouts against nine walks in his 25 innings with an ERA of 1.80. On Friday night at Baltimore, he threw eight shutout innings with eight strikeouts in a 5-0 win.
Right-hander Drew Hutchison gets the ball for the Blue Jays and there will be no reason for him to leave anything in reserve. The Blue Jays on Tuesday began a stretch of 20 consecutive games without an off-day and manager John Gibbons is considering going with a six-man rotation to take some of the strain off his pitching staff.
"We haven't yet committed to it, but if we do it, it's going to happen soon," Gibbons said. "We've got some guys who have been banged up in the past. It might be a way to keep guys a little bit stronger."
Blue Jays: Melky, Seitzer reunion working
Outfielder Melky Cabrera has had a torrid opening month for the Blue Jays and Gibbons thinks that has resulted partially because of the reunion between Cabrera and hitting coach Kevin Seitzer.
When Cabrera was operating under Seitzer's tutelage with Kansas City in 2011, there were hits galore as well. Cabrera finished that season with 201 hits and a .305 batting average in 155 games.
"Melky has always been a good hitter and he really had his breakout year when he came to Kansas City," Gibbons said. "He and Seitzer hit it off. They work well together."
With his fifth-inning triple off of Royals starter Jason Vargas in Tuesday night's 10-7 loss, Cabrera set a franchise record for most hits in March/April with 40 and added an RBI double for 41.
Royals: Staying around .500 a plus
The Royals came home from their road trip on Sunday with a 12-12 record and manager Ned Yost, considering his team's tepid offense early on, feels that's a pretty good level.
"My whole goal and focus is, if we can stay at .500 until we get hot, then we're going to go on a nice run -- and we know that's going to be the case," Yost said.
"Ideally we'd like to be five or six games over .500 at this point, but until it breaks loose, we're OK right now."
So far, no club has broken away to a big lead in the American League Central. The Royals' 10-7 win on Tuesday moved them one game above .500 and the offense produced a six-run eighth inning.
• Royals reliever Tim Collins has thrown two rehab innings with Triple-A Omaha and is due for a third outing on Wednesday. So far, he hasn't allowed a hit or a walk and has five strikeouts.
• Jose Bautista's homer on Tuesday night gave him 176 while wearing a Blue Jays uniform. He's three away from matching Jesse Barfield for fifth place on the club's all-time list.
• The Jays' Edwin Encarnacion needs three homers to reach the 200-homer milestone for his career. He hit No. 197 on Tuesday.
Dick Kaegel is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.